Half-Blood Review

Monday, September 5, 2011

Title: Half-Blood
Author: Jennifer Armentrout
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Publish Date: October 18, 2011
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal
Pages: 281
Source: Publisher

The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi-pure-bloods-have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals-well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures. Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway.

There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1: Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden. Unfortunately, she's crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn't her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden.
Alex has every chance in the world at having the very world at her feet, but her three years in hiding with her pure-blood mother in the mortal world might just jeopardize that. In fact, there's a strong possibility she might become a servant if she can't catch up three years of training to her classmates at Covenant by the end of the summer. But the world in which Alex lives is far more dangerous than she could have anticipated. With Daimons lurking around the corner, training to keep her ever-vigilant and prepared and a pure-blood who very well might knock her off her game, she has to keep at the top of her abilities, or the world might come crashing down around her.

I've been hearing the praise for Half-Blood since I received my ARC, so trust me, my expectations were high going into this book. It's not too often that I read a book from a smaller press that, simply put, shocks me with the incredible ingenue and sheer originality within its pages. I'm happy to say, however, that Half-Blood very literally did so for me. Honestly, I saw mythology and thought it was going to be the same-old, same-old. Don't make the same mistake I did. Do not assume this book will be the same as any other you have ever read. Jennifer Armentrout has created a vivid and breathtakingly original world full of monsters, mythology and action that will stun you with its imagery and leave you spellbound and wanting more.

I've often complained that the YA genre does nothing for young girls. Often presenting heroines that are meek and sit idly by waiting to be rescued by some stud on horseback, I long for the heroine that takes charge. Half-Blood does more than that for us, providing a lovable, relatable and quirky heroine in Alex. She's headstrong and determined, but she has a sense of vulnerability that makes her accessible to us. Then there's Aiden. First of all, let me say that the premise is misleading and made me think this would be a straight insta-love book. I was wrong. Half-Blood presents two characters that grow as friends and, eventually, into the possibility of something more. Aiden was patient and kind; nurturing and challenging. He didn't let Alex rest on her laurels, but rather challenged her to live to her full potential. And, despite the fact that their relationship is doomed from the get-go (half-bloods and pure-bloods can never be together), I was rooting for them from the start. I have to mention the daimons, as well. They're a whole new breed of monster that were once pure-bloods but who became dark creatures from taking the essence of another pure-blood. They were brutal and ruthless, adding a dark and unsettling element to the story that was both fascinating and intriguing. Perfectly merging quiet, emotional moments with pulse-pounding action, Half-Blood delivers it all and leaves you craving more.

From fantastic imagery to the true ability to weave an entirely original story, Half-Blood succeeds on all accounts. If you're looking for a book that lives and breathes cross-genre success, this one's for you. I give it a 5 out of 5, and I recommend it to fans of both YA and adult books, especially to those who enjoy paranormal and fantasy novels.

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.

21 comments:

  1. I completely agree! The summary definitely lowered my expectations of the book, so MAN was I surprised! I totally loved Half-Blood! You touch on many good things in your review, but I especially agree with you about Alex. Loved her! :)

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  2. I loved this book also! Can't wait for the 2nd! Great review!!

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  3. Like you, all I see on goodreads is sheer love for this book. Nice to see a reasoned, thought-out post as to why it rocks. It's in my to-buy list, but your review has pushed it closer to the top! Thank for the in depth thoughts!

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  4. Yay! Glad to hear it was awesome! Now I really can't wait to start this one!

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  5. I have been hearing so many awesome things about this book. So glad to hear you think it amazing too. Now I wish it would just hurry up and be released so I can read it :)

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  6. I'm really looking forward to reading this book! Thanks for a great review! :)

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  7. YAAAAAAAAAY MELISSA! So glad you loved this one too, I read it and was thoroughly depressed when I finished knowing I couldn't go out and buy Pure immediately. Stupid release dates, so far apart:( Absolutely beautiful review, I agree completely with your thoughts on Alex and the relationship with Aiden, I wouldn't change anything about them!

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  8. Ive been seeing this book around lately and usually a 5 from Melissa=awesome!!!

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  9. I love when there's a strong girl character and it makes it even better when there's a guy who encourages her to be so. I've heard such good things about this book (plus, love the cover) -- I've got to read it!
    Mary @BookSwarm

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  10. Well here is another book I am going to have to read. Five out of Five a definite must have.

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  11. Totally agree! Your review rocks :D You pointed out everything so well!
    So glad you loved it too!

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  12. I love when a hyped book meets your expectations and goes beyond. It rarely happens. To be honest, the description of the book didn't do anything for me. I also thought "same old, same old" but after reading your review I'm glad to know that's not. I love a strong willed yet accessible heroine, which is very rare in YA. I'm looking forward to the book. Awesome review, Melissa!

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  13. I have been seeing a lot of reviews of Arm books this last year and now this one gets a 5 from you. I am intrigued

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  14. It's nice to see your expectations were met with this read! Great review :)

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  15. I seriously can't wait to read this one! I love that Alex is quite headstrong, and the whole mythology aspect really appeals to me now you've said it's not just the same old, same old. Great review, glad you enjoyed it!

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  16. Totally agree!! Amazing review Melissa!!!

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  17. This sounds awesome! I love that the author took you places you didn't expect. And like you, I don't often find great things from smaller presses...although they must be out there.

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  18. Loved that you gave this book a such high rating! I need to read it. I am more excited now! This is so awesome!

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  19. I don't think I've seen a negative review for this book yet. Thank you for mentioning that it is not insta-love. I was afraid it would be.

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  20. This one seems so good! Yours is only the second review I've seen, but I only get more excited for it. *squee* The cover and title didn't inspire me too much. I really need to stop paying attention to those! LOL!

    Jen
    In the Closet With a Bibliophile

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  21. Yay for headstrong and determined heroines! And the budding romance sounds lovely too...along with everything else! Sounds a book that can't be missed,

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